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Hi All,

The second day of our recent 8 day cruise was an eye opener that caused us both to say "we need radar". We're in the PNW and left La Conner for Victoria BC. We got to Deception pass and it was fogged in to 1/4 nm visibility. The new iNAV X was up and running with a handheld Garmin GPS and charts at the ready. We tuned in Seattle traffic and went for it. The iNAV X worked superb, we both kept a good sharp eye out and 2.5 hours later the fog lifed south of San Juan Island.

So after getting the wife to agree before next years adventures we need radar, we looked on line a little. To us, it looks like a financial wash whether you go with a mast mount, pole mount or back stay mount. What are some of your recommendations concerning mounting and why. Thanks.

Dave
 

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Dave :

I used to have a dedicated radar pole aft, but I had to move it to make way for the new Hydrovane autopilot. I ended up fitting a Scanstrut backstay mounted radar pole, and it looks OK. It has a gimbal system on it too. It is a bit expensive, however.

For radars, though I have a JRC, it proved extremely difficult to get the screen to read directly forward when the boat was pointing directly at an object. I had a persistent 12.5 deg error that, in desperation, I had to dismount the radome and re-drill it to compensate for the error. No amount of reading and re-reading the instruction manual would correct it. The manual seemed to have a translation error in it somewhere, but we (4 of us) could not fix it.

Perhaps they have fixed it now, but for that reason, I would not recommend a JRC.
 

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I would not mount my radar at the mast, with mast mount you have two options.
Front of mast = interfere with sail
Side of mast = large blind spot

There are many alternatives for rear mount.
Aft stay
Dedicated pole
Integrated with solar panel mount
++
All of these can be combined with gimbal (automatic or manual)

I have a dedicated pole made of 80mm aluminium tube with a manually adjusted gimbal. We hardly adjust the angle.
My radar pole also have a crane arm attached that we use to hoist the dinghy outboard.

You loose a some radar distance by mounting i lower, but you will normally be more focused on close targets anyhow.
But you gain:
Less sea clutter.
Easier installation.
A structure suited for installation of
GPS antenna
AIS antennas (GPS and VHF)
 

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On a 30 something I'd mast mount. I'd skip the tilt mounts, they are better when sailing but costly, and in the old days when radars had big cables, they'd wear them as they rocked.

Today most systems have integrated chart plotters. Although I liked having separate chart plotting for redundancy, you've got that in hand helds or even cell phones. On a 30 something boat put this in the cockpit, run charts with radar overlay. Takes little room....but pricey, because once you get started with a vendor, you'll want all their other integrated stuff like autopilot, wind, depth, boat speed,etc so it all works together. It's their plan to part you with your money.
 

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Hi All,

The second day of our recent 8 day cruise was an eye opener that caused us both to say "we need radar". We're in the PNW and left La Conner for Victoria BC. We got to Deception pass and it was fogged in to 1/4 nm visibility. The new iNAV X was up and running with a handheld Garmin GPS and charts at the ready. We tuned in Seattle traffic and went for it. The iNAV X worked superb, we both kept a good sharp eye out and 2.5 hours later the fog lifed south of San Juan Island.

So after getting the wife to agree before next years adventures we need radar, we looked on line a little. To us, it looks like a financial wash whether you go with a mast mount, pole mount or back stay mount. What are some of your recommendations concerning mounting and why. Thanks.

Dave
For bays and flat water sailing a pole or backstay mount is fine. For a mix of open ocean sailing & bay I much prefer mast mount. UNFORTUNATELY our boat came with a stern pole.:mad: I would much prefer a mast mount. Eventually it may wind up on the spar....

I have personally owned:

3 Mast Mount Boats
1 Questus Backstay Mount Boat
1 Pole Mount Boat

Performance differences between the Questus and pole mount have not been as discernible as the claims say. Performance difference between mast mount and stern mounts are quite discernible...

Sail interference with a mast mount is a non-issue on a sloop, if you know how to tack a sail around a dome. In 35+ years of sailing boats with mast mounted domes, and many thousands of tacks, I have never once had a dome interfere with the head sail...

If I was starting from scratch again it would be on the mast. When you do get radar plan to run it in clear visibility a LOT. I run ours almost all the time clear weather or not (probably a hold over from my tuna and commercial fishing days). This will allow you to see how it is really performing. The last thing you want to try and do is adjust a radar in the fog and only ever use it in the fog..

I do quite a bit of electronics installations and up here, in foggy Maine, most opt for a mast mount. Garmin seems to be one of the better values but the Simrad/Lowrance/B&G products are now pretty closely matched price wise.

I never get complaints/call backs from Garmin customers and they are very reliable. From an installers perspective I generally prefer to install Garmin over the others due to the outcomes and the customer satisfaction.

I did a flurry of Raymarine last year and the year before and this year just ONE (but only at the customers insistence and he bought the gear). That one job cost the customer nearly 2.5K in additional labor due to Raymarine's lack of quality control.. It would have cost me 2.5K if I had purchased the equipment for the owner and I would have been so far in the red on that job it would not even be laughable.... Enough said on that matter......:mad:

There are pros and cons to both but I would go back to mast mount in a heart beat if I did not have to patch and repaint my transom to do that....
 

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To us, it looks like a financial wash whether you go with a mast mount, pole mount or back stay mount. What are some of your recommendations concerning mounting and why.
Mast: a little higher with some minimal increase in range to show small boats and ATNs. Generally longer cable runs and a set of connectors to allow mast to be removed.

Backstay: reduced ability to drop backstay to fit in smaller travel lifts. Potential issue with side loading the backstay.

Pole: (inexpensive) mount that allows manual angle adjustment is easy, natural home for antenna mounts and windgen, mount for outboard engine hoist.

Arch: all the benefits of a pole plus dinghy davits and solar panel mounts.

I chose a pole mount in 2006 and don't regret it for a moment.
 

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Daniel - Norsea 27
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I have a stern pole mounted radar. It works ok on the local lakes, but not really needed there. I want to use my boat on the ocean so I'm looking at moving the antenna to the mast for a better view. With the radar antenna on the pole, it's right next to my head when I'm in the cockpit so it's a little noisy with its buzzing. I'm looking to move it whenever I upgrade the electronics from two separate chartplotter/radar units to one.
 

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For close in stuff I don't think it matters too much, unless you get a forward blind spot from the mast, but out in the 'big blue ocean' with big waves our mast mount gives us 20-25 mile range. However, absent the fog we find the AIS more valuable for big ship interactions. However, it is important that you ensure that the radar and AIS target are the same ship.

We were once caught in fog in the Bay of Fundy with good radar but a local on a daysail with us still called Fundy control and asked that they help vector us away from big ships. Fundy control stayed with us for 2 hours.

Entering Halifax at night in very bad fog Halifax control talked us in warning us of every marker and finally told us that we had gone 100 yds past the dock and needed to turn around. Halifax has an outer and inner control and they smoothly passed us from one to the other both wishing us a big welcome to Halifax and an enjoyable stay!

Prior to getting radar, in fog, we got into shallow water as fast as possible and anchored until the fog lifted.

Phil
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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I want to use my boat on the ocean so I'm looking at moving the antenna to the mast for a better view.
I crossed the Atlantic with my pole mount radar. I've delivered up and down the US East Coast with radars on the mast, a pole, on arches, and on the backstay. Your tax dollars paid for my training on radar and sonar imagery interpretation (and some other fun stuff like IR). I don't think the difference between a pole and a mast mount radar makes a beans worth of difference on recreational boats.

I do think some training on radar tuning and imagery interpretation is wise. There are a lot of courses available - I think both USPS and USCG Aux give them. You can get home-study and on-line courses from StarPath.
 

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I did a flurry of Raymarine last year and the year before and this year just ONE (but only at the customers insistence and he bought the gear). That one job cost the customer nearly 2.5K in additional labor due to Raymarine's lack of quality control.. It would have cost me 2.5K if I had purchased the equipment for the owner and I would have been so far in the red on that job it would not even be laughable.... Enough said on that matter......:mad:
RC,
I've got all Raymarine gear and will likely go with a Raymarine radar upgrade next year so it'll integrate with my MFD. Other than your one horror story last year, how have the other installs gone?
 

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I have a Furuno NN3D MFD and a Furuno DRS2D radome.

It works fine and with the split screen I can select if I would like to use overlay or separate radar / map display.

Furuno have full ARPA (not MARPA as others have)

If I was in the market now I would have had a serious look at the broadband radar from Navico (Lowrance, B&G, Simrad)
 

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RC,
I've got all Raymarine gear and will likely go with a Raymarine radar upgrade next year so it'll integrate with my MFD. Other than your one horror story last year, how have the other installs gone?
I have had nothing but trouble with Raymarine gear, except for the st-60 instrument package, and expect it to die any day.
From large networked systems on commercial vessels to the smaller yacht gear, their quality control, customer service and tech support are very poor, and remote tech support completely unacceptable.
Therefore I would suggest moving away from Raymarine towards Garmin as your Raymarine gear fails.
 

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I have had nothing but trouble with Raymarine gear, except for the st-60 instrument package, and expect it to die any day.
From large networked systems on commercial vessels to the smaller yacht gear, their quality control, customer service and tech support are very poor, and remote tech support completely unacceptable.
Therefore I would suggest moving away from Raymarine towards Garmin as your Raymarine gear fails.
Let's get specific here. Have you had experience with the current E and A series gear? It seems to me that Ray gear has gotten a lot better since the FLIR acquisition but I'm hoping for a reasonable number of data points to support or refute this impression.
 

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Let's get specific here. Have you had experience with the current E and A series gear? It seems to me that Ray gear has gotten a lot better since the FLIR acquisition but I'm hoping for a reasonable number of data points to support or refute this impression.
Honestly, I can't remember what series of gear I've operated by Ray, but as I said, other than the st-60 stuff, nothing has been up to any basic level of reliable, dependable equipment. Nor has support. Only a year or so back I was trying to repair my autopilot and their tech support could not not tell me the horsepower of the motor in their linear drive motor. That's not a very well informed tech support department, IMO.
No, you may choose and hype any gear you please, but I would not put one bit of their gear aboard any vessel I was operating, even if it was given to me and installed free. I'll pay premium prices and stick with Garmin, because I value their quality and support on equipment that might mean the difference between life and death to me and those aboard a vessel with me. Does that answer your question sufficiently?
 

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Don't know for sure about new fangled radars but in the older Furunos heads up or reverse mount is adusted in the head.It flips up to reveal a degree marked adjusting plate that changes which gear tooth is engaged. My 24 mile rotating head was mounted on top of the mizzen mast. (angled slightly down for close up in front) Agility was required for maintenance .Looked at all the new stuff and had decided on Furuno again , but sold the boat .
 

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RC,
I've got all Raymarine gear and will likely go with a Raymarine radar upgrade next year so it'll integrate with my MFD. Other than your one horror story last year, how have the other installs gone?
Someone asked me a question a few weeks ago about an choosing an e7D or Garmin 740 or 741. This was the data I came up with from installations I had done over the last few years.

I have installed a fair number of both.

Garmin 740 & 741 - 21 units - issues = 0

Raymarine e7D - 10 units - issues = 9 (separate units) defective screen = 5, Software frozen = 3, no boot = 1


As an installer a 90% call back or failure rate is far to high.. D'oh..... I like installing 21 units and having zero failures or call backs MUCH better......;)

BTW the defective screen recall is well known on the e7 series. As an installer we get totally BONED on these replacements. Customer is happy they got a new unit, the installer, well suffice it to say I have moved onto products that don't cause me headaches on a regular basis or I am not field engineering for the manufacturer..

Beyond that having honest open discussions on the Raymarine forum about real issues gets your posts or entire thread deleted by the moderators.... Think it is a real forum where real issues can be discussed? Think again.....

Ray does make some good stuff, and they do have some excellent guys in tech support/engineering but an end user would never likely get to them. My issue is their QC is not what it is at Garmin, Furuno, or even the Navico group of products.
 

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Any thoughts on the new Furuno blue tooth enabled radars that get rid of the cable? The cable run from the mast was a huge issue for me so mounted my Raymarine unit on the aft arch. May look to upgrade to a 4G color radar unit in the future. Getting rid of the cable would be real nice.
 

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I like mast mount. My buddy installs many radars and I've help on a few. Mast mount is the preferred location for the best view forward.

The beam width and aperture should allow you to see behind you as well.

The vertical beam width should allow it to work a varying angles of heel.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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On a previous boat I installed a brand new Furuno on the mast.

On a bumpy trip across the Indian Ocean, I had to continually go up the mast to refit the drive belt that ran the array. It kept jumping off the toothed sprockets and rendering the radar useless.

I never figured out whether it was the radar or the mast mount that caused this but since I will always have to have a mast, I stay away from Furuno.

I now have a JRC on a pole mount off the rear arch that also houses a wind generator, TV antenna and solar array. I agree with another post that for cruising purposes, I have not noticed any reduction in visibility from having the radar lower - I still pick up ships when they hit the horizon which is good enough for me.

And whilst I will probably fit AIS in time to come, it will not replace my radar. AIS doesn't warn of landmass when the fog is down.
 

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Have had back stay mount on psc34. Pole on Tayana 37, and mast with gimbals on the Outbound. Mast seems best. It's at center of boat so seems less movement. Is higher so easier to see weather and land. For targets usually interested in things that are closer so don't think position much matters. With ray found pre sets ( harbor,coastal etc) not ideal but easy to adjust to what you want. Use is intuitive.
Currently have raymarine. Never had garmin beyond handheld backup gps. Had the others. Once understood( a ongoing project) its fine.. If I had to do over would get b and g with nke autopilot.
 
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